gtag('config', 'UA-12595121-1'); Everyone has a key role to play – The Zimbabwe Mail

Everyone has a key role to play

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DEBATES and differences of opinion are healthy in a democracy. They help to build consensus and to create constructive tension out of which bold ideas can emerge to take the nation forward.

That said, it is an indictment of our toxic body politic that the discourse around the recent launch of the country’s new currency by authorities, the Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG), has typically generated more heat than light on the topic.

Notwithstanding the many ignorant arguments that have been made on the subject, mostly for social media likes, the reality that confronts Zimbabwe is that the country urgently needs a viable and sustainable domestic currency.

In addition, an important aspect of the significant launch of ZiG that most of its critics are not keen to debate — predictably — is the question of what should be done if this is not the answer at this point, and what we all can do to help shore up the country’s economy. Yes, the past is important.

But it is not helpful that some among us specialise in obsessing over previous government mistakes, when the focus should really be on the future and the well-being of our country and all its people. We are, after all, in this together as Zimbabweans, and thus ought to act a bit more unselfishly, in everyone’s interest, especially during challenging times such as the current one.

We are also the worse for it as a country when the chattering classes make all national issues about petty politics. These compatriots also seem not to understand the critical role that citizens and businesses play in national development.

Indeed, we have all seen over the past 44 years of our independence how economic outcomes and the national culture can be shaped in part by the acts of commission or omission by citizens and business.

Think, for example, how most people claim to be opposed to corruption. Yet, many of us are happy to bribe law enforcement agents and other public officials when we break the law or require an urgent service — to the worrying extent that this has almost become part of the national culture.

Coming to the specific subject of the country’s economy, as well as how we all have a key role to play in shaping and nurturing it, the first thing to bear in mind here is that without all of us there is effectively no national economy.

We, as in all the people of this country, and our time, are the source of all local value, as it is individual consumers and families that form, in the main, the backbone of the economy. In that regard, the financial decisions made by households, including how we spend our money, save and invest it collectively impact the overall health and well-being of the national economy.

The second important thing to bear in mind is that the markets — the places and platforms where people exchange goods and services — include illegal ones such as foreign currency black markets, which thrive on the active participation of large numbers of ordinary people and rogue businessmen.

While markets try to find balance in prices when supply and demand are equitable, it is also true that this balance can be disrupted by factors that include our irrational expectations and human greed. So, and to reiterate, we are all in this together.

And we all have an important role to play in the development of our country, its financial systems and its economy. In that regard, crass politicking, destructive criticism of authorities and key initiatives with the potential of harming the country, as well as misplaced cynicism about everything linked to the government is not helpful to anyone. Just as important, to drive this point home, we must all, as individuals and businesses, be wary that we don’t engage in activities that destroy our domestic currency, or fuel the forex black market, to our own and the country’s detriment. Surely, this is not too much to ask. ZiG deserves our support at this point, or we all sink. It’s that simple. – Daily News